December 16, 2021

Conservationists of the Year

This year, the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District is pleased to announce two Conservationists of the Year Award for 2021!

Congratulations Sara Frankenfeld and Rob Lanfear!

Sara Frankenfeld

GIS Administrator – Warren County Planning Office

Sara has provided enthusiasm, technical guidance and strong support while working on projects in conjunction with the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Much of the District’s workload involves stream and lake restoration initiatives, forestry, erosion and sediment control, habitat improvement and conservation awareness.  As long as Sara has worked with our office it has been apparent that she has the same passion for the environment.  She continually assists us with reducing impacts through planning/mapping/application requests from our office and field work (when we have been able to get her out of her office).  Her interest and support in District programs serve as an excellent example of assisting other agencies accomplish goals for the betterment of the communities.

The District believes that Sara’s willingness and foresight when it comes the District and her support of resource protection, is absolutely essential for the long-term sustainability and improvement of our local natural resources.

Congratulations and Thank You Sara!

Rob Lanfear

Town of Lake George Highway Superintendent

In just a few short years as the Lake George Highway Superintendent, Mr. Rob Lanfear has made major contributions to the conservation of our natural resources. When Rob first came to work for the Town, District staff remember meeting with him at a few sites for stormwater issues and listening as he laid out what he wanted to get done. The staff left the meeting thinking, we like Rob’s ambition but that’s got to be a wish list. We’re reading this letter to you today because Rob completely proved us wrong by not only finishing that “wish list” of projects, but also adding more to it.

Since Rob became the Highway Superintendent, he has consistently added and installed an impressive number of water quality projects, while dealing with the never ending list of required highway duties. Let’s look at the past two years which has had a few extra obstacles sprinkled in, that whole pandemic thing. Rob completed five stormwater projects for just our office (not including lake associations or town projects) and one of those, we originally thought would be one of the most difficult stormwater projects we’ve attempted in the past decade. A few reasons why staff considered Trinity Rock such a challenging project…  first and foremost engineers were involved, very steep slopes directly to Lake George, tons of groundwater, bedrock, flooding, erosion and to top it off, identified a failing septic system. While planning this project with Rob, he just kept saying, “we’ll get it done” while we would say, “are you sure it’s even possible?”. Needless to say, Rob had a four piece concrete stormwater separator, with one single section weighing 9,000 pounds in the ground before lunch. He constructed a platform for his machine to sit on, as he was on the side of a mountain and pumped a steady stream of groundwater safely around the construction site.  What seemed like a terrifying project ended up being a fun project to watch be perfectly installed, all due to Rob.

After working with Rob and his crew these past few years and working with him on many water quality projects, we would say Rob sets a very high standard for his conservation work and we’re glad to have him in Lake George!

Congratulations Rob, this award is well deserved!